Plant and Soil

, Volume 192, Issue 1, pp 15–22 | Cite as

Arbuscular mycorrhizal adaptation, spore germination, root colonization, and host plant growth and mineral acquisition at low pH

  • R.B. Clark


Arbuscular mycorrhizal (AM) fungi colonize plant roots and often enhance host plant growth and mineral acquisition, particularly for plants grown under low nutrient and mineral stress conditions. Information about AM fungi and mycorrhizal ( +AM) host plant responses at low pH ( < 5) is limited. Acaulospora are widely reported in acid soil, and Gigaspora sp. appear to be more common in acid soils than Glomus sp. Spores of some AM fungi are more tolerant to acid conditions and high Al than others; t Acaulospora sp., Gigaspora sp., and Glomus manihotis are particularly tolerant. Root colonization is generally less in low than in high pH soils. Percentage root colonization is generally not related to dry matter (DM) produced. Maximum enhancement of plant growth in acid soil varies with AM fungal isolate and soil pH, indicating adaptation of AM isolates to edaphic conditions. Acquisition of many mineral nutrients other than P and Zn is enhanced by +AM plants in acid soil, and the minerals whose concentration is enhanced are those commonly deficient in acid soils (Ca, Mg, and K). Some AM fungal isolates are effective in overcoming soil acidity factors, especially Al toxicity, that restrict plant growth at low pH.

acid soil AM fungi Endogonaceae Glomales 


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© Kluwer Academic Publishers 1997

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  • R.B. Clark

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